25 November 2009

Doug Hoffman Re-Concedes

For a week a flame of hope flickered for Doug Hoffman's Conservative party campaign for New York's 23rd Congressional District. A recount in some voting districts appeared to put Hoffman close enough to Bill Owens, the Democratic Representative-elect, for the outcome to be changed, in theory, by a count of absentee and military ballots. Hoffman went on Glenn Beck's radio show to "un-concede" the election and resumed fundraising.

Yesterday, with less fanfare, Hoffman again conceded the election to Owens. It was not, however, as complete a concession as objectivity might require. On his website, Hoffman wrote:

[My supporters] proved that average Americans can stand up and make their voices heard, all the way from Watertown to Washington. They proved that the voters are sick and tired of wasteful government spending, high taxes and an ever growing deficit. And most importantly, that when it comes to politics: principles do matter. While we may have lost the election, this race proved that Americans are sick and tired of the status quo in both Albany and Washington.

What Hoffman's supporters proved and what the voters proved are two different things. The Hoffman movement did prove that an ideologically motivated group can mount a credible challenge to their Bipolarchy minders (the Republican party in this case) and drive a major-party candidate from the field. That deserves recognition and a degree of respect, regardless of your opinion of what Hoffman stood for. But Hoffman's supporters, in the end, were a minority of voters in the 23rd District. It could be argued that a Democratic victory in a district that had been Republican almost since the party's founding proves the opposite of what Hoffman claims: that voters are not sick and tired of what Hoffman claims to be wasteful spending, excessive taxes, etc. Does the fact that Hoffman lost prove that Americans are not sick and tired of the state and national status quo? I wouldn't go that far. But the fact Hoffman still refuses to concede is that his was the one race in the nation that was a referendum on movement conservatism rather than an alleged referendum on the Obama administration, and the movement lost. Until he admits that, the campaign really isn't over; it's only segueing into 2010 mode.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's a quote from Paul Weyrich, a leading proponent of modern conservatism. It should clear up a lot of things...

"We are different from previous generations of conservatives. We are no longer working to preserve the status quo. We are radicals, working to overturn the present power structure of this country."

If this doesn't get people to rethink their stance on modern conservatism, I don't know what will.